Family Reunites With 75-Year-Old Man Who Wandered Off From LA Hospital
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A 75-year-old man who wandered off from a Los Angeles hospital early Tuesday morning has been reunited with his family.
Michael Farrell, of Frazier Park, was discovered Wednesday at Union Station after he disappeared from a treatment room at County/USC Medical Center.
CBS2’s Jeff Nguyen reported that Farrell was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence on Halloween and subsequently placed in custody at Men’s Central Jail.
A judge ordered his release on Monday. On that same evening, Farrell’s brother went to check on him but was told Farrell wouldn’t be let out for several hours.
The next morning, the brother found out that Farrell was taken by ambulance at 12:24 a.m. Tuesday to the medical center.
“At County-USC, they took him in. But before he could be treated, he walked away,” said Steve Whitmore, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities are investigating what went wrong.
“Can we do better? We’re certainly going to look at that because if we can, we’re going to,” Whitmore said.
Farrell’s family members were angry and confused about the entire situation.
For one, they believe Farrell, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, may have suffered a seizure behind the wheel when he was pulled over.
The family also said alcohol tests came back negative.
“I feel very angry with the Sheriff’s Department. Somebody dropped the ball,” said Farrell’s sister, Maureen Doherty.
CBS2 asked County/USC how a person with a medical condition was allowed to just walk out the door, but was told no one was available for comment.